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The Eos Life~Work resource centre

Professional networking in employment policy,
practice and research

(updated 1 October 2007)

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Specialisation versus Integration in theory and practice

Rapid changes in "people technologies" are leading to increasing specialisation in many academic research programmes and consultancies. These trends bring serious hazards of fragmented services to staff, information overload for front line managers and professionals, and a loss of reality in research and new psychological techniques. The problems of Human Responses to Change exist within academic and professional communities, as well as in the organisations and societies we serve. In the last two years international tensions, wars and terrorist attacks have added to the problems of managing trauma and change for staff and management teams in organisations. New links have been added for trauma support networks.

Eos contributes to the growing network of professionals concerned to stabilise organisations and communities affected by trauma, change and economic uncertainty.. Professional development within our professions and academic disciplines is important to keep up to date with changes. But better networking between specialisms and professions, and between researchers and practitioners is equally important to maintain continuity of services and integrated strategies for managing change.

More recognition of action research by professional practitioners is essential to faster recognition and pro-active response to changes in the world of work. How often do local human resource managers, doctors, psychologists and other organisation consultants meet with each other and with academic researchers pioneering new approaches to the world of work?

Traditional research methodologies and academic publications risk lagging years behind the changes they seek to understand. Psychological conferences in the UK tend to be structured by traditional specialisms, dominated by academic research papers and presented in traditional ways. The Medical profession has even stronger traditional boundaries, though greater involvement of practitioners in research. From time to time initiatives like the ESRC sponsored Work and Well-being seminars run at Birkbeck in 2000 and the Life-Work Balance campaign in 2001 try to build links between professions. Sadly these were short term projects but have left some valuable records on the Internet that we offer as links, or have led to new projects.

If used wisely the Internet revolution offers powerful and low cost ways of international networking to share observations, knowledge and new techniques between professional practitioners and researchers in the human sciences and professions. The challenge is to find quality contacts and updates quickly without being overloaded by Emails.

This part of the Eos Life-Work website is intended to harness some of the World Wide Web's potential for professional networking. We have selected high quality Internet website links that may be of interest to others involved in employment policy, practice and research. We now include international links to work psychology organisations in Europe and the USA, to organizational health networks like UKFOH and new trauma support resources.

The Eos Life-Work Forum was set up for readers comments and ideas (all professions and disciplines), and the OccPsychUK newsgroup was offered for Work / Occupational Psychologists. These use the Yahoo Groups facility which requires setting up a password for access. These are slow and outdated compared to modern web "blogging" systems and will be replaced.

However your comments and contributions, including news of other websites and Internet forums offering new information and networking opportunities for the world of work, are welcome by direct Email to Dai Williams at eosuk@btinternet.com .

At a strategic level we strongly support the principle of developing "healthy organisations" with pro-active programmes to promote staff well-being and performance. The UK and International Forums for Organisational Health are multi-disciplinary networks that have promoted "healthy organisations" for a number of years. Life~work boundary issues are strategic aspects of this agenda. The themes of "Work and well-being" and "Work-life balance" are gradually getting wider recognition in the UK.

Internet resource links for practitioners and researchers

We welcome interdisciplinary co-operation, links between practitioners and reseachers and international dialogue on life-work / work-life issues. We offer links to professional and academic research organisations in the UK and other countries. We look forward to hearing from others with similar interests through the Internet. Please note these links do not imply our endorsement of the information available nor do we claim any accreditation with the organisations listed unless specifically indicated. We are grateful for their permission to include links from this site.

Several professional organisations, university departments and research institutes specialise in aspects of work psychology, human resource management, organisational health etc. The websites listed below have been selected because they may include useful news, contacts, events, recent research findings or publication lists.

The Institute of Employment Studies (IES) is based at Sussex University in the UK. Their site has an excellent database of Research Reports on employment issues and good practice with free research summaries. For more details see: http://www.employment-studies.co.uk

The British Psychological Society (BPS) website at http://www.bps.org.uk/ has been redesigned recently. It provides public information about the Society, training, membership and directories of Chartered Psychologists. It includes interesting press releases, event diaries, policy statements and indexes to many publications and journals including the BPS monthly magazine The Psychologist. More detailed information and newsgroups are also available but restricted to BPS members or journal subscribers (see below re facilities for Occupational Psychologists).

The American Psychological Association (APA) provides extensive Internet resources at http://www.apa.org These include a wide range of journals at http://www.apa.org/journals
These include the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology at http://www.apa.org/journals/ocp/currentTOC.html . Its Division of Health Psychology has a website at http://www.health-psych.org

The Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development (IPD) is the UK association for Human Resources / Personnel and Training professionals. They provide many training events, codes for best practice and the monthly magazine People Management. Like the BPS detailed information is restricted to members and journal subscribers. Find them on: http://www.cipd.co.uk/. Sign in as a Guest for access to a number of reports and briefing papers.

A rich source of Internet information for Human Resource professionals in the UK and other countries is available at http://www.hrmguide.co.uk . Its international version is available at http://www.hrmguide.net

The Work and Well-being Bulletin was an Internet newsletter covering current research and practice in workplace psychology in the UK, launched after the ESRC seminars at Birkbeck in 2000 at: http://www.sums.ac.uk/wwb/

A National Work-Life Forum website was set up at: http://www.worklifeforum.com/ but the orinigal project has finished. It included a site for employers supporting the work-life balance debate at: http://www.employersforwork-lifebalance.org.uk These links may not work now but other internet resources may follow this earlier project.

The UK Government DfEE views on work-life issues can be found at: http://www.dfee.gov.uk/work-lifebalance

The UK Government Health & Safety Executive (HSE) website is available at

Health & Safety News gives daily reports of events and issues at http://www.safetynews.co.uk

IFOH - The International Forum for Organisational Health was a network of several professions interested in higher standards for health in organisations including Occupational Health doctors, nurses, Occupational Psychologists, researchers, consultants, counsellors and therapists. It has active contacts in Norway and UK but former members in Netherlands have withdrawn stalling international events. The last IFOH conference 'New work - new values' was held in Oslo in 2000 but occasional meetings have been held with Norwegian and UK members in the UK most recently in Feb 2007.

Occupational health specialists at the IFOH conference, Oslo, Sept 2000

The UK Forum for Organisational Health organises meetings in London, see the UKFOH website at http://www.ukfoh.org.uk .

The European Academy for Occupational Health Psychology is an alliance of University departments in Europe with its UK base at Nottingham University run by Professor Tom Cox. For news and articles see its website at http://www.ea-ohp.org

Trauma support networks

Trauma suppprt is a special aspect of Occupational Health of increasing concern in many occupations. In view of the World Trade Centre disaster this may be relevant to many organisations whose staff may have been directly or indirectly involved in the tragedies on September 11 2001. A list of national and international trauma support resources are contained in Appendix 2 of the Eos report Psychological Aftermath of September 11th: Is there a 9-11 Transition? (PDF file).

The Bali bomb attack brought similar problems for families, employers and communities in Australia, sadly followed by major attacks in Turkey, Madrid, Moscow, London, and Mumbai have suffered major bomb incidents since the US declared their War on Terror. Major bomb attacks on the same scale occur every day in Iraq and during the recent Israel/Lebanon conflict.

In addition large populations have been traumatised by recent natural disasters e.g. the Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004, Hurricane Kristina in the USA on August 2005 and the Kashmir earthquake in October 2005.

The following organisations and websites offer information, support or further network links:

Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies http://www.astss.org.au/

ACISA - The Australasian Critical Incident Stress Association http://www.acisa.org.au

Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies http://www.massey.ac.nz/~trauma/

Australian Trauma Web http://www.criminology.unimelb.edu.au/ptsd/

Australian Centre for Post-traumatic Mental Health http://www.acpmh.unimelb.edu.au/

Canadian Traumatic Stress Network http://www.ctsn-rcst.ca

European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies http://www.estss.org

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies http://www.istss.org

Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma and Transformation
New project and website developed from the Omagh trauma support team. http://www.nictt.org

Inter-disciplinary networking - for policy, practice and research

Action research is an ongoing aspect of all Eos work - monitoring new trends in careers, and changing hazards and opportunities in employment. We welcome opportunities to discuss these with employers who are reviewing organisation change strategies or human resourcing policies, and with other practioners and researchers. You can take part in this discussion through the Eos Life-Work Forum at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eoslifeworkforum.

These subjects cross a number of disciplines and professions with contribitions from practitioners, professional bodies, and researchers in universities, institutes and business schools. The challenge is to translate this growing body of knowledge into a toolkit of simple, practical principles that managers can use in fast changing organisations with very limited resources.

Promoting pro-active awareness of the issues that cause employee distress and reduced performance is far more cost effective and humane than the social and legal costs of poor employment practices (see Safe and Dangerous Organisations). It can save employers huge costs in sickness absence, delayed work schedules and costly medical or legal consequences. Approaches need to be practical and flexible to cope with increasing social and cultural diversity in many countries and organisations.

Our client base also includes marginal groups less often studied in commercial research projects eg the self-employed, unwaged and part-time workers. We also work with individuals with special life~work situations e.g. working parents, the visually impaired, internationally mobile families and gay workers. Their experiences have given us many insights into the more subtle interpretation of career assessments and life~career planning issues.

In the past six years we have extended our application of career and organisation principles into non-commercial work environments e.g. voluntary groups, community and political organisations (see the Community Projects Index). Many aspects of occupational psychology and life~work issues apply in these situations too. Other disciplines e.g. social and community psychology, sociology and social anthropology are making pioneering developments, subject to changing research funding e.g. the former CAIN database of conflict research in Northern Ireland).

These other academic disciplines offer wider perspectives on conflict resolution, social identity, multi-ethnic relations and long term exclusion or trauma support. While these are outside the traditional realm of Occupational Psychology they are increasing relevant to organisation behaviour and staff development in international organisations, governments and communities in all countries. Occupational psychologists have valuable contributions to make in this global network.

Local networking in SE England & Surrey

Local network contacts have many uses e.g.

- to exchange local economic conditions and work opportunities,
- mutual encouragement for isolated practitioners or recently qualified students seeking work
- exchange of theory and practice between practitioners and local universities
- inter-disciplinary co-operation between related professions and research groups.

Eos organises occasional informal networking opportunities with local contacts. Over the last 5 years we have arranged occasional informal Eos "Netwalks" in Surrey see Eos Network News. including clients and professional network contacts including Occupational Psychologists and Occupational Health practioners. We look forward to creating other networking opportunities including Managers, Personnel Managers ( IPD), GP's and other Health practitioners and university staff and researchers. Contact Eos if you would be interested in attending or arranging an event in Surrey or the local region.

National & international networks for Occupational Psychologists

Occupational Psychologists in the UK will find information in the DOP (Division of Occupational Psychology) part of the BPS website. This includes details of conferences and workshops. However these are intended for BPS members only so links are not included on this page. Members can get further details through the BPS website at http://www.bps.org.uk/. The upgraded BPS website is worth visiting as new facilities are added.

To be become a Chartered Occupational Psychologist with the BPS members have to complete a 2-3 programme of supervised professional practice as Practitioners in Training usually after completing a recognised MSc course in Occupational Psychology. The Practitioner in Training Support Group provides an active network of meetings and training events and has its own Internet newsgroup. I set up a parallel Internet newsgroup for for supervisors, assessors and intending supervisors involved in this chartering programme "dop-profdev". If you are a BPS member and a practitioner in training, supervisor, assessor or intending supervisor and would like information about these networks please Email Dai Williams and I will put you in contact with the relevant organisers or Internet groups.

In Europe there are several networks for Work and Occupational Psychologists. Information about The European Association for Work and Occupational Psychologists (EAWOP) can be found at: http://www.fss.uu.nl/eawop/ This site includes a goldmine of links within Europe and globally. It is published in English but can also be translated via "Babelfish" see below.

In the USA psychological networks are co-ordinate by the American Psychological Association. This includes many Divisions for special interests. Occupational psychologists may wish to visit The Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychology (Division 14 of the APA) at: http://www.siop.org/

Other virtual networking opportunities are developing rapidly this year. We would appreciate news of new sites and will add links as these become available.

Influencing national and global agendas

The immediate priority for most practitioners and researchers is to do our own job well in the interests of our clients or sponsors. But powerful economic, social and political forces are creating increasing problems as well as opportunities in the world of work.

When professions fail to respond fast enough other interests will set national and global agendas. In most cases economic and political pressures will overwhelm social and ethical issues with very high costs to society later eg the effects of low wages, job insecurity and long working hours. The 'flexible' labour market has brought short term economic gain to business and governments with massive long term costs in mental and physical health and social breakdown.

Professional practitioners in work and organizational psychology, human resources and occupational health often work alone or in small groups. So we have very limited influence on national agendas except for those who work in government departments. Yet we are specialists in developing short and long term human potential, working daily with employment crises and surfing wave after wave of organisational change.

Virtual networking now offers us an opportunity to combine our insights and begin to influence national and global agendas. We hope this site and its links, the Eos Forum and newsgroups like OccPsychUK , will offer you new tools for faster, low cost professional networking.

Llinks to other networks involved with community, peace and political psychology are given in the Community Projects index.

If you are interested in national or international networking on work or community psychology issues we look forward to hearing from you. Since December 1999 people from 123 different countries have visited the Eos website.

Dai Williams Chartered Occupational Psychologist, Eos.

Contacting Eos
We would like to hear from practitioners or researchers from related fields wishing to exchange briefing papers, receive details of future workshops or to suggest Internet links.

Email eosuk@btinternet.com
Post: Eos Career Services, 32 Send Road, Send, Woking, Surrey GU23 7ET, UK

page updated 1 October 2007 © Eos Career Services 2007

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